The machete-wielding Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked once again and killed seven Christians in northeast central Nigeria on Saturday night.
The attackers struck the Golkofa village in the Kaduna state of Jema'a Local Government Area and killed five Christian members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and two other Christians, cousins of one Golkofa resident named Sunday Saleh.
Saleh identified the victims as his 40-year-old cousin Thomas Maimasara, his 25-year-old cousin Sabo Boyi, and the church members as 18-year-old Bobo Okocha, 24-year-old Monday Hamza, 17-year-old Waje Rubutu, 20-year-old Linus and 19-year-old Julius.
"The Christians were killed in their homes," Saleh told Morning Star News. "Some of the victims were shot while others were cut with machetes."
The massacre in Golkofa follows the recent violence in two other villages in the Kaduna state. The Islamic extremists attacked the villages of Gada Biyu and Ninte three weeks ago and killed 13 Christians. The deadly attacks also sent three pastors of different churches fleeing away for safety.
"These attacks on Christian communities are senseless and uncalled for," said Rev. Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, secretary of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). "Why carry out attacks on communities without provocation? The Nigerian government needs to stop these killings by these Muslim herdsmen."
The Fulani herdsmen also burned down the Christian villagers' homes in Gada Biyu on the night of Aug. 3, incidentally the same that the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, with its new leadership, issued new threats of burning down all churches and "killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross."
Bishop Charles Hammawa of Jalingo warned that Boko Haram buoyed the Muslim herdsmen's attacks against the Christians after losing substantial grounds.
"It appears to be a strategy to deliberately populate areas with Muslims and, by the sheer weight of superior numbers, influence political decision-making in the region," Bishop Hammawa told ChurchMilitant.com.